High Maintenance

The holiday weekend just past (July 4th) and a trip to the vet with the Puppy on Monday have put me behind on my blogging. I knew I’d be too busy over the weekend watching “Independence Day” for the umpteenth time and eating barbeque to do any writing — which is one reason I published “Bicentennial.” It was already written, was about the Fourth of July, and I’ve been planning to release some of the chapters from my novel before I finish it to see if I can create a frenzy for the finished product…okay, maybe a small flutter.

I took the Puppy to the vet for a non-life threatening condition, so, not to worry. One hind foot had become puffy and inflamed-looking and I couldn’t see an obvious injury. His chest and neck were also looking inflamed and itchy — an indication that his allergies were flaring up beyond the ability of the benadryl-three-times-a-day to control. The vet said he had probably picked up a skin fungus from the yard, and since he’s got highly susceptible, sensitive skin, it made him break out.

So now I get to bathe him twice a week with special shampoo that I have to lather up and leave on for ten minutes; I’ve got some steroid spray to spray on his foot twice a day; and for good measure, I got some ear drops for the Old Guy, who seems to be having a milder case of the same thing and has been shaking his head a lot (which sometimes makes him fall down).

I consider myself lucky. For most of the first year of his life, the Puppy had one skin condition after another, and was almost always having the special baths — this was before I got him. The breeder had him evaluated for food allergies and ended up putting him on a vegetarian diet. After I got him — at age ten months — I added the benadryl because there was obviously something else “in the air” of Central Texas that he reacted to. Not surprising. A lot of people have told me that before they came to this area they never had allergy trouble. I started having to take allergy medication regularly before I left Kentucky, but could sometimes skip a dose and not really notice the difference. Not so here.

Now we’re in this prolonged drought, and there is dust everywhere, mold spores everywhere, general yuckiness everywhere. Not to mention the triple digit heat and 80-plus percent humidity. Uber yucky. So the Puppy gets his special baths on Tuesdays and Fridays, and since I wouldn’t want him to feel left out (and because he’s a dirt magnet anyway), the Old Guy gets one on Sundays. And I’ll be taking a lot of cool showers and eating a lot of popsicles.

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